Take a free online course about the history of Boston from Suffolk University!

Just a quick post to let you know that Suffolk will be offering its free online History of Boston course in 8 self-paced installments beginning October 20. This course is highly rated and looks very well designed. I’ll be taking it even though I took a History of Boston course at Northeastern not that many years ago.  Sign up and get more info at http://historyofboston.org/ 

Kittredge House Opens its doors

Last night, Historic Boston Inc. and a wide variety of supporters including Mayor Marty Walsh celebrated the completion of the renovations of the historic Alvah Kittredge House into 5 apartments. The $1.2 million renovation has brought the house’s glorious exterior back and saved elements of the interior while tastefully updating and repurposing it.  Congrats to HBI on a job well done, and welcome to the new residents who will soon be moving in!

New book on Boston Beer

Fans of Roxbury history will want to add Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub to their bookshelves.  I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive, but given the subject matter the book is sure to have lots of info on the string of breweries along the Stony Brook.

WBUR did an interview with the author a couple of months back.

Upcoming Fort Hill Events

Here are a couple of events you won’t want to miss if you like our neighborhood history.

First up, the annual Jazz at the Fort concert series returns to Highland Park after last year’s construction on Sunday, August 3, at 5PM.  This year’s headliner is the Jaleel Shaw Quartet. Get all the details at the Berklee website here:  http://www.berklee.edu/events/jazz-fort-jaleel-shaw-quartet 

And on Monday, August 11, from 5:30 to 8PM, you won’t want to miss your one and only chance to tour the newly renovated Alvah Kittredge House and learn about Mr. Kittredge and his house.  The event will be hosted by HBI and the bill says that Mayor Walsh is planning on attending. The first tenants will move in soon, so this don’t miss this one!  See the flyer at this link or RSVP here.

aurimasmb said: What's the story of the beautiful (somewhat dilapidated) mansion on the corner of Highland and Hawthorne streets, just across from Beech Glen St.?

That house belonged to David Hodgdon, who made a fortune in clothing and textiles.  I wrote it up a while back: http://forthillhistory.tumblr.com/post/15100678539/who-was-david-hodgdon

Tour the Standpipe!

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the City of Boston is celebrating with events in every neighborhood. The one that is most interesting to us is undoubtedly this one:

Friday, May 30, 2:00-3:00 – Restoring the Fort Hill Standpipe (Rapunzel’s Tower)

Tour and informative session regarding recent renovations to the Fort Hill Standpipe, led by City of Boston Property and Construction Management Department Project Manager Leo Murphy.

Free and open to the public.

Contact Alistair Lucks – Alistair.lucks@gosbon.gov / 617-634-3400

Hope to see you there!

The Story of our Mile Markers, as told by the Globe

Last week, the Globe ran a nice story on the history of the mile markers in Boston. Our neighborhood is fortunate enough to have two of these from the 1700’s, the Parting Stone in Eliot Square and the 3-mile marker just down Centre across from Gardner.  Most of these were installed by Paul Dudley, one of Roxbury’s many famous Dudleys.

The story also included this map showing the location of all the mile markers around Boston.  If you’ve never taken the time to stop and visit the Parting Stone or Mile Marker 3, make sure you do next time you’re walking around the neighborhood!

Patriots Day Events

Join the Roxbury Collaborative in celebrating Boston’s role in freeing the American colonies from British Occupation. On the third Monday of April, begin your day with a buffet breakfast at the UU Urban Ministry/First Church in Roxbury at 8am. Historic speeches will follow and at 10am., you will be able to witness a re-enactment of William Dawes’ horseback ride from Roxbury to Lexington and Concord. 

The William I Brown Memorial Scholarship will be presented to high school students who have demonstrated civic engagement in the community, and a local resident will receive an Unsung Hero Award. The day’s events end with a free one hour trolley tour of Roxbury. Those not wishing to take the tour can instead enjoy open house visits to the Dillaway-Thomas House, the Shirley-Eustis House, and Eliot Burial Ground.

Here are the events taken straight from the flyer:

Monday April 21, 2014


10 Putnam Street, Roxbury, MA 02119

(Intersection of Roxbury, Dudley and Centre Streets)




 (8:00 AM – 9:00 AM)

Free Buffet Breakfast and

Ralph F. Browne Jr. Unsung Heroes Awards


 (9:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

Warren I. Brown Memorial Scholarship Presentations

William Dawes Ride Re-enactment by the National Lancers

Historic Recitations and Dawes Send-off

Historic Talk

11:00 AM

Trolley Tours led by Thomas Plant and State Representative Byron Rushing of Historic Sites in Roxbury


All Events Are Free


Other Historic Sites Open on this Date:

Eliot Burial Ground - Washington and Eustis Streets Governor Shirley Mansion - 33 Shirley Street

Dillaway-Thomas House 183 Roxbury Street


Honoring the history and culture of the Roxbury community

Sponsors and Supporters of the Roxbury Collaborative Including:


National Lancers; 272nd  Veterans Association; Anne Bancroft, UUUM; Ruth Brown, Cheryl Brown-Greene,David L. Ramsay/Patrick E. Toy VFW Ladies Auxiliary  #8772; Marcia Butman, Roxbury Historical Society; Charles Clemons, Touch 106.1 FM; Elaine Corbin, Humanistic Guide Inc.; Janet Fillion, Boston Latin Academy; Discover Roxbury; Linda Evans, Rev. Roger Peltier, , Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry at the First Church Roxbury; State Representative Gloria L. Fox; Historic Boston Inc; Ret. Lt. Paul Hughes and the Madison Park High School JROTC; Paul Keough, Deputy Commissioner of the City of Boston Veterans Services; Lloyd King, Roxbury Action ProgramKathy Kottaridis, Historic Boston; Bill Kuttner, Shirley-Eustis House; Lisa Cooke, Antonio Menefee, DCR; Thomas Plant, Roxbury Highlands Historical Society; Representative Byron Rushing, Roxbury Historical Society; Cynthia J. Santos Fletcher, Daughters of the American Revolution; Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, A Nubian Notion, Inc.; Joyce Stanley, Dudley Square Main Streets; Deborah Thomas, Colored Ladies Christian Relief Association; Ralph Walton,Unitarian Universalist Congregation at First Church RoxburyUnitarian Universalist Society of West Newton; Benny White, The 54th Massachusetts Volunteers Militia Company A Re-enactors;

and other friends and supporters of the Roxbury Collaborative.

Community Meeting about Roxbury Historic State Park improvements 3/24 6PM

As I mentioned in a previous post, DCR will be putting $2 million into the Dillaway-Thomas House and surrounding Roxbury Heritage State Park in a fast-track construction project this year.  There’s a public meeting to discuss this next Monday - this is your chance to provide input on what types of amenities you’d like to see in this park and find out more about the project.

Details from the flier:


Roxbury Heritage State Park Community Visioning Workshop

Monday, March 24, 2014 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM 

Roxbury Community College Student Center, Building 4, Second Floor, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury 

At this meeting, the public will have an opportunity to provide input into the development of a vision for the future of the Roxbury Heritage State Park, by identifying project goals for the Roxbury Heritage State Park Signature Park Project. These will include desirable improvements to, and activities at, the Dillaway-Thomas House and Roxbury Heritage State Park, as well as what and whose stories to commemorate through exhibits.

Happy Evacuation Day!

It’s Evacuation Day, which means that once again we’re celebrating Fort Hill’s role in helping to boot the British out of Boston.  Universal Hub was the first to publish this great pic from the BPL Flickr page showing the fortifications at Dorchester Heights.  This is where the cannons that Henry Knox, after designing the fort that gives Fort Hill its name, ended up after he lugged them all the way down from Fort Ticonderoga (including bringing them right through Eliot Square). Oh, and happy St. Patrick’s Day, too.